Fly Fishing Forum - View Single Post - Commerial Take of Wild Steelhead to be Increased!
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Old 01-15-2004, 06:42 AM
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juro juro is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Steelhead country|striper coast|bonefish belt
Posts: 20,593
It's about time we went to selective commercial fishing methods, like weirs and traps especially on dammed rivers like the Columbia where it would be relatively easy. The information gathered would be valuable, virtually no wild fish would be killed, and the costs of the 200 commercial fishermen would be reduced creating dramatically increased margins. Tens of thousands of fishermen should use their clout to buy out the 200 commercial fishermen and keep the gill nets out for the inaugural season, coordinating with biologists to measure the impact on the runs, using that data to move toward selective commercial fishing techniques (above) to help get things rolling the first year.

Hatchery fish of premium quality could be culled into shaved ice bins at traps near ladders without affecting native strains or protected species, producing a more efficient harvest and a better product for consumers. The profit margin over running a 30,000 boat and managing nets, paying crew, etc - would be ridiculously improved, thus yielding higher $$. Any difference in profitability after allocation to existing commercial interests could even be used to fund the phase-out program further, or else given to the commercial interests to make them like the approach better themselves (more money, less work).

The problem would be allocation of these fish / rights to the 200 commercial anglers. My suggestion would be a lottery system available only to grandfathered commercial anglers granted within peak return times. They'd all get a shot, but days would be granted in a lottery.

Native American interests would be required to abide by these rules as well.

It would be different, but it would yield a higher profit margin, a better quality product, and virtually eliminate by-kill.

If only I were king...
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